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Kia Sonet vs Renault Kiger vs Tata Nexon: Turbo-Petrol Manuals Compared

A turbo-petrol mill with a clutchless manual or the traditional gearbox? We put three sub-4 metre SUVs to the test to see which combination is the one to pick


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The sub-4 metre segment is one of the most intensely competitive battlegrounds in the Indian automotive industry with a variety of options to choose from. While most offerings get a petrol-manual offering, the likes of the Kia Sonet stand out by offering an iMT clutchless manual gearbox. Is it really one to consider over the traditional manual gearbox? We tested it against the Renault Kiger and the Tata Nexon:




Kia Sonet 1-litre turbo-petrol

Renault Kiger 1-litre turbo-petrol

Tata Nexon 1.2-litre turbo-petrol










6-speed iMT

5-speed MT

6-speed MT


On paper, the Kia Sonet and Tata Nexon are essentially equal despite the two sub-4 metre SUVs having different displacements in their petrol engines. Of course the Sonet’s main differentiator from its rivals is a 6-speed clutchless iMT manual gearbox. The Renault Kiger is the odd one of the three, being the least powerful of the three, and gets a 5-speed manual gearbox compared to the 6-speed units in the Sonet and Nexon. So how do the three sub-4m SUVs fare in the real world? 


Performance Runs


Kia Sonet 1-litre turbo-petrol

Renault Kiger 1-litre turbo-petrol (Wet)

Tata Nexon 1.2-litre turbo-petrol


11.68 seconds

11.01 seconds

13.33 seconds

30-80kmph (Third gear)

8.47 seconds

9.26 seconds

10.49 seconds

40-100kmph (Fourth gear)

13.24 seconds

16.34 seconds

18.26 seconds


While the Renault Kiger isn’t the most powerful on paper, it comes out on top in the 0-100kmph sprint despite being tested in sub-optimal conditions that would give it a disadvantage. However, once you get to higher speeds and gearing, the Kia Sonet’s clutchless iMT comes in handy to make it the quickest of the three sub-4 metre SUVs. Despite the Tata Nexon being identical on paper to the Sonet in terms of outright power, it is the slowest of the three SUVs.


Fuel Economy 


Kia Sonet 1-litre turbo-petrol

Renault Kiger 1-litre turbo-petrol (Wet)

Tata Nexon 1.2-litre turbo-petrol









The Tata Nexon makes up for the lack of performance by being the most frugal sub-4m SUV on the highway, returning 20.30kmpl. The Kia Sonet is at the opposite end of the spectrum, returning 12.24kmpl in the city and 15.33kmpl on the highway, which ranks lower than the Nexon and the Renault Kiger. The Kiger sits right in the middle, returning 19kmpl on the highway, and being the most frugal of the lot in the city at 15.33kmpl.




Kia Sonet 1-litre turbo-petrol iMT

Renault Kiger 1-litre turbo-petrol MT

Tata Nexon 1.2-litre turbo-petrol MT

Ex-showroom Price

Rs 9.89 lakh (HTK+) to Rs 12.39 lakh (GTX+ DT)

Rs 8.12 Lakh (RXT Turbo) to Rs  9.21 lakh  (RXZ Turbo DT)

Rs 7.28 lakh (XE) to Rs 11.29 lakh (XZ+ (O) Dark) 


With all the factors taken into consideration, the Kia Sonet is an ideal pick if you’re willing to shell out more dough for performance, while taking the hit on frugality. For a long road trip, the Nexon is preferable and gets the most affordable starting price of the three sub-4 metre SUVs. The Renault Kiger provides the best of both worlds with decent performance, frugal in the city, and has the more affordable top-spec trim of the three.  


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